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21 May, 2024 15:20

Vast majority of Russians believe in God – survey

Most of those polled who had religious beliefs identified as Orthodox Christians
Vast majority of Russians believe in God – survey

Nearly 70% of Russians consider themselves religious, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing a poll based on in-person interviews with some 2,000 respondents across Russia. 

Most who said they had religious beliefs identified as Orthodox Christians, according to data collected by the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector at the HSE University in Moscow during research in 2023. 

The proportion of followers of other branches of Christianity or Islam stood at 7% in the country, the study revealed. Another 1% of respondents said they were Buddhists, while a further 1% described themselves as followers of Judaism.

Out of the 28% who said they were non-religious, more than one-third were younger people between 18 and 24, the poll revealed.

According to the study, religious believers were more likely to participate in various volunteer activities compared to people who were not religious by a margin of 34% to 17%.

A similar survey, published by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTSIOM) in early May, found a higher proportion of religious people in Russia (78%), two-thirds of which were Orthodox Christians. A further 7% registered as Muslims, 1% Buddhists, and 1% Protestants. A further 4% of respondents said they believed in God but didn’t belong to a specific religious denomination.

In his interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Orthodoxy had “deeply rooted itself in the consciousness of the Russian people.”

At the same time, however, Russia has always respected those who follow Islam, Buddhism and Judaism, he said. “This is its strength. This is absolutely clear,” the president said.

Because of this, people of different faiths “consider Russia their Motherland, they have no other Motherland. We are together, this is one big family. And our traditional values are very similar,” he explained.